24th January 2021

Epiphany 3


8am                     No Service

10am                   Morning Worship

                              Preacher – Tracy Mason

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no service in the church building. You can join us in one of two ways:

– On the Telephone (Phone: 03300 945 940;
Room number: 60527473#; PIN: 2656#)

– Live on our YouTube channel
(search for ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’)

4pm                     Church at 4 via Zoom

Join the Church at 4 group on our Facebook page for the meeting invite and password.

Sunday 31st January

The Presentation

10am                   Morning Worship

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no service in the church building. You can join us in one of two ways:

– On the Telephone (Phone: 03300 945 940; Room number: 60527473#; PIN: 2656#)

– Live on our YouTube channel (search for ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’)

Preacher              Revd Barbara Abrey

Reading               Luke 2. 22-40

Reader                 Helena Thomas

Intercessor          Helen Toomer

                                                                                                                                                                                    4pm                     Church at 4 via Zoom

Join the Church at 4 group on our Facebook page for the meeting invite and password.

Private Prayer – Wednesday lunchtime

During the current lockdown, the church building will be open for private prayer between 12pm and 1:30pm on Wednesdays. 

Church closure

Unlike the last lock-down, the Government has chosen not to dictate a general closure of all places of worship in England. This reflects the fact that there have been very few cases of Covid-19 transmission in places of worship and also the importance of corporate worship to the general wellbeing and morale of people of faith. In the Church of England, the decision about whether or not to remain open is being taken at local parish level.

The Standing Committee (SC) of the PCC met this week to decide how we should respond to the new national lock-down and whether our church should remain open. After much discussion and debate the SC decided that we will not be holding services in church for the time being. Reasons for this include:

  • A Covid-19 case rate in Wroughton, Wichelstowe and Chiseldon that is higher than the national average, and climbing (doubling in a week).
  • The older demographic of our congregation, which means people are more vulnerable.
  • The availability of people to act as stewards to help keep everyone safe as we move around the building.
  • The fact that last week the majority of our congregation chose not to come to church and joined us either on the telephone or watched on YouTube.

This decision will be reviewed when the PCC meets on 1st February. 

10am Telephone service

  • To join the Sunday service first dial this number: 03300 945 940.
  • When prompted, enter the room number, followed by # on your telephone keypad: 60527473 #
  • Finally, enter the guest PIN: 2656 #
  • You may have to listen to some announcements, but you will then be automatically joined to the conference call. Join in with the responses in the liturgy as you would normally.

Calls to ‘03’ numbers are charged at the standard national rate and are included in your ‘free minutes’ if you have a call-plan.

Live streaming the 10am service

The 10am service will be live streamed on You Tube. As well as getting video, the sound quality should be better than the phone. However, unlike the telephone option, you will not be able to interact with other people or to be heard in the service. We don’t recommend trying to use both You Tube and the phone at the same time as this could cause an echo on the phone line, there is also a delay of about 30 seconds which is very off-putting. Please visit our YouTube Channel on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6wnuTqXBYTixq-NpQgeLQ and press the ‘subscribe’ button.

An opportunity for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat after the 10am service

If you would like to join an informal chat (about the state of the weather?) after the 10am service on Sunday then choose your favourite treat and join one of our virtual meeting rooms. To access a meeting room you will need to dial the usual national rate telephone number:

03300 945 940 …followed by the room number and PIN.

Each meeting room has a pair of hosts, who will welcome you and hopefully help to get the conversation going. Just like in church, there is no obligation to stay for long, you can just pop in and say “hi” before rushing to the kitchen to think about lunch. Meeting rooms will be opened by their hosts after the 10am service and aim to close by 11:15 at the latest.

Your choice… Room number PIN Room hosts
Coffee 74958379 # 3543 # Helen and Helena
Tea 53230915 # 8527 # Karen and Peter

Lent course

We plan to run a lent course as usual this year. Current restrictions around meeting together mean that this will be delivered over Zoom. The first session will be at 7:30pm on Tuesday 23rd February and run for the following 6 to 8 weeks.

Bible Studies

If you are finding time hanging heavily during the week after the excitement of the Sunday phone service, why not make a good start and join our Monday morning Bible Studies? These are also over the phone, using the same conference numbers. We start at 10.30 am and keep to just under an hour. Currently we are looking at the readings on our service sheet and considering how these can impact our daily lives. You will be very welcome to join us.    Margaret Penfound

Update on The Deanery and Kingfisher schools

As most of you will know, we are lucky to have two Church of England schools in our parish, both located in Wichelstowe. There has been lot going on over the last few months, so an update is over-due…

The Deanery secondary school welcomed its second intake of year 7 students in September 2020. The initial intake of 150 students in 2019 have therefore now been joined by 210 year 7s, more than doubling the size of the school and the teaching staff. Going forward, the school will now grow at a rate of 210 new students each year. The pandemic has made it difficult for the school to receive external visitors, but Revd Phill did visit a number of times before the current lock-down and was impressed by the positive attitude and behaviour of the students.  Sadly Linda Culling, the school Principal, resigned in December after a period of absence.  Peter Scutt is currently Acting Principal and is doing a great job, particularly given the pressure that the pandemic has put on schools. The process of recruiting a new Principal to guide the school through the next phase of its life will begin shortly. We wish Linda well and our thoughts and prayers are with her at this time. Our parish has six Foundation Member places on the schools’ governing body, plus the vicar. We currently have one vacancy.

The Kingfisher Primary school building was completed last year (next door to The Deanery), however lack of progress on the Middle Wichel housing development saw the building moth-balled. Swindon Borough Council have now entered into a joint venture with the house builders in order to get the housing delivered and you will have noticed significant progress on this over the last six months. This means that The Kingfisher can now plan to open in September this year, albeit with a much reduced cohort of reception pupils. We also hope to open a pre-school in the building. The Kingfisher will operate separately from The Deanery, however there will be strong links between the two, with many shared facilities (catering and IT for example) and the teaching staff will work closely together to support the transition from primary to secondary school. Both schools are part of DBAT (Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust), who employ the all staff and run both schools. The Kingfisher’s governing body hasn’t yet been established, but our parish will have two Foundation Member places, plus the vicar.

Prayer is fundamental to the foundation of our Christian schools, without it they will lose their Christian distinctiveness. Please do remember both schools regularly in your prayers and consider joining us at 9am every Monday during term-time (currently online).  If you are interested in exploring other ways in which you might be able to support either of our C of E schools, whether as a governor, occasional visitor/volunteer, mentor or sports coach(!) then please do speak to Revd Phill. We have been blessed with a unique opportunity to invest in the next generation; we need to make the most of it.

Church Defibrillator

This vital piece of life saving equipment is now available in the cabinet in the church porch. It has been registered with the ambulance service so that they can direct members of the public to find it in an emergency. 


The Church will be floodlit on Sunday 24th January by Paula Glass in memory of Pamela Jean Little;

On Monday 25th January in memory of John (Jumper) Colling on his first anniversary, with love from the Colling and Ford families.


Please remember the friends and family of Margaret Ellis, Violet Phillips, Lorraine Rowsell, Frances Maisey and Shirley Mathias.